How to care for detached toenails

Written by cindy paterson
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A toenail can accidentally be detached if it gets hit by something hard, such as dropping a weight plate on it. Sometimes it will not be removed right away but will slowly detach itself from your toe. It will grow back, but until then you have to take care of your nail-less toe so that it will not be infected or injured any more than it already is.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Warm water
  • Water basin
  • Alcohol
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Clean towel
  • Povidone-iodine

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  1. 1

    Pour warm water into the basin that's big enough so that your foot will fit in. Make sure that the basin and the water are clean so there's less of a chance of infection on the wound created by the detached toenail.

  2. 2

    Pour 2 bottle caps of alcohol into the warm water to serve as the disinfectant. Also rub the antibacterial soap in the warm water until it gets bubbly. The soap will help prevent infection caused by bacteria.

  3. 3

    Put your injured foot in the water. Start by putting the ball of your foot on the tip of the water, and gradually lower your foot so that your skin will get used to the warm water.

  4. 4

    Gently wiggle your toes to allow the water to pass in between the toes and wash the dirt from the nail-less toe.

  5. 5

    Remove your foot and throw the water away. Wash the basin and pour clean warm water into the basin again. Soak your foot again and wiggle it to remove the soap.

  6. 6

    Pat your foot dry with a clean towel.

  7. 7

    Put one to two drops of povidone-iodine on your injured toe, and spread the tincture to the wound. The iodine will prevent infection.

Tips and warnings

  • Do this procedure at least twice a day until the wound heals.
  • If it is painful, take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Always keep the wound dry.

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